17 December 2015, Lagos – The country’s biggest power firm, Egbin Power Plc, plans to double its generation capacity to 2,640 megawatts over the next three to four years at a cost of $1.8bn to tap growing demand, its chief executive officer, Dallas Peavey, has said.
Reuters quoted Peavey as saying that the utility company, operated by the Korea Electric Power Corporation, was also looking at investments in solar energy and transmission lines to help address gaps that have held back the sector.
Egbin Power won its thermal plants with a total capacity of 1,320MW two years ago under a government-led privatisation scheme, which was meant to end decades of blackouts that have blighted Africa’s most populous nation and biggest economy.
The company is 70 per cent owned by a joint venture between Kepco and Nigerian conglomerate, the Sahara Group, which also has interests in power distribution, with the other 30 per cent held by the government.
The 30-year-old Egbin plant, which has six 220MW gas-fired power plants, was producing just 440MW of electricity after it was privatised, Peavey told Reuters in an interview in Lagos.
“We are going through and into the process of developing the phase two to double the capacity of Egbin. In three to four years, it would be completed,” Peavey said.
He said the company had not turned a profit since the private investors took over, partly due to an unpaid government debt of N44bn for electricity bills, adding that he expected Egbin to take up to three years to get into the black.
The plant provides a third of Nigeria’s electricity, Peavey said, adding that the company was also targeting an increase in renewable energy supplies to the grid over the next 18 months.
He said talks with the US Exim Bank, the World Bank and African Development Bank were ongoing to fund the second phase of the expansion plan and that it had spent $250m to commission engineering analysis and evacuation studies for transmission.